Monday, June 20, 2011

QS Latin American Rankings

QS have published the results of their preliminary study for a Latin American university ranking. This would be the second in their series of regional rankings after the Asian rankings, now in the third year.

The methodology suggested by the rankings is as follows:

Latin American Academic Reputation  30%
Papers per Faculty  10%
Citations per Paper 10%
Student Faculty Ratio 10%
Staff with Ph D 10%
Latin American Employer Reputation 20%
International Faculty 2.5%
International Students 2.5%
Inbound Exchange Students 2.5%
Outbound Exchange Students  2.5%

QS's surveys have been criticised on several grounds, including low response rates. However, the employer survey is valuable as an external  assessment of universities, while the academic survey might be considered a complement to citations-based indicators which in both the THE and QS rankings have thrown up some odd results.

There are two indicators that are directly research based. The apparent ease with which citations can be manipulated means that a variety of indicators could be used here, including citations per paper, h-index, total publications and citations, proportion of funded research and publications in high impact journals.QS have missed an opportunity here.

Student faculty ratio is allocated 10% instead of 20 % as in the international ranking. This is an admittedly crude proxy for teaching quality. QS are apparently experimenting with a student satisfaction survey which might produce more valid results.

Ten per cent goes to the proportion of staff with Ph Ds. This may well encourage the further and pointless over-production of substandard doctorates.

Five per cent goes to international students and international faculty. I am not sure that this will mean very much especially in the smaller Central American republics. Counting exchange students is definitely not a good idea. This is something that can be easily manipulated. In the Asian rankings there were some large and puzzling increases in the numbers of exchange students between 2009 and 2010.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The QS Arts and Humanities Rankings

See here for the complete rankings.

Here are the top five in each indicator, academic survey, employer survey, citations per paper of the QS subject rankings.

There is nothing surprising about the leaders in the two surveys. But the citations indicator is another matter. Perhaps, QS has followed Times Higher in uncovering "clear pockets of excellence". Would any specialists out there like to comment on Newcastle University (the English one, not the Australian) and Durham as first for history -- something to do with proximity to Hadrian's Wall? What about Brown for Philosophy, Stellenbosch for Geography and Area Studies and Padua for linguistics?

English Language and Literature
Academic survey
1.  Harvard
2.  Oxford
3.  Cambridge
4.  UC Berkeley
5.  Yale

Employer Survey
1.  Oxford
2.  Cambridge
3.  Harvard
4.  MIT
5.  UC Los Angeles

No ranking for citations

Modern Languages
Academic Survey
1.  Harvard
2,  UC Berkeley
3.  Oxford
4.  Cambridge
5.  Cornell

Employer Survey
1.  Harvard
2.  Oxford
3.  Cambridge
4.  MIT
5.  Stanford

No rankings for citations

History
Academic Survey
1.  Harvard
2.  Cambridge
3.  Oxford
4.  Yale
5.  UC Berkeley

Employer Survey
1. Oxford
2.  Harvard
3.  Cambridge
4.  University of Pennsylvania
5. Yale

Citations per Paper
1=  Newcastle (UK)
1=  Durham
3.   Liverpool
4.   George Washington
5.   University of Washington

Philosophy
Academic Survey
1.  Oxford
2.  Harvard
3.  Cambridge
4.  UC Berkeley
5.  Princeton

Employer Survey
1.  Cambridge
2.  Harvard
3.  Oxford
4.  MIT
5.  UC Berkeley

Citations per Paper
1.  Brown
2.  Melbourne
3.  MIT
4=  Rutgers
4=  Zurich


Geography and Area Studies
Academic survey
1.  UC Berkeley
2.  Cambridge
3.  Oxford
4.  Harvard
5.  Tokyo

Employer Survey
1.  Harvard
2.  Cambridge
3.  Oxford
4.  MIT
5.  UC Berkeley

Citations per Paper
1.  Stellenbosch
2. Lancaster
3.  Durham'
4.  Queen Mary London
5.  University of Kansas


Linguistics
Academic Survey
1.  Cambridge
2.  Oxford
3.  Harvard
4.  UC Berkeley
5.  Stanford

Employer Survey
1.  Harvard
2.  Oxford
3.  MIT
4.  UC Berkeley
5.  Melbourne

Citations per Paper
1.  Padua
2.  Boston University
3.  York University (UK)
4.  Princeton
5.  Harvard